7 ways to get the New Year off to a good start

New Year resolutions can be a bit of a fad.

It’s human nature to want to start something new when a new week, month or year begins.  Whether that’s on a Monday, your birthday or an anniversary of some kind.  We find motivation in it and it energises us to do something good.

But New Year resolutions never seem to last long. Maybe because we come up with unrealistic goals and so our new gym memberships fall by the wayside in February and March and that pledge to read one book a week is long forgotten by the end of January. Maybe it’s because calling our new something a New Year resolution also means once we’re no longer in the throes of a new year the goal no longer feels relevant. Either way, if our expectations for something new are not met quickly or are too high then we may find that we give up.

But it doesn’t need to be that way.  Here are 7 realistic ways to get the new year off to a good start that can easily carry on right through the year. To make sure there are also 7  ways to ensure you have more chance of sticking with it too;

1. Live with less

Not with nothing, just with less.  That might be with less books on the bookshelves, fewer shoes or trainers, less gadgets or less clothing.  Committing to not buy as much as you would normally requires less physical effort and has many benefits that can reach all parts of your life.  Buying one less item a week is a good start.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Make small changes.  Not buying something each week that you may have normally bought or getting rid of one thing a week is much easier than getting rid of something every day or reducing lots of stuff in one go.  Plus, it keeps the intention alive for much longer too.

 

2. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day.

Having a regular bedtime and waketime is beneficial when it comes to sleeping better. And when we sleep better a lot of other things fall into place too as we’re more energised, can be in a better mood and able to make better decisions. That’s one New Year’s resolution that can have lasting benefits throughout the year.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Make it a habit.  It takes a couple of months for an action to become a habit and it may also take this long to see changes in how you sleep too.  Stick with it though, as it won’t be long before you don’t even think about it anymore and it just happens with little effort.

 

3. Remove the clutter

Create a home you want to be in and allows you to feel relaxed as soon as you enter it.  The best way to do that?  Clear your home of clutter.  A clearer space means a clearer head and that also means you’re more likely to stick to any other resolutions you may have made that require a bit more effort.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Look at the end goal, not the task.  Visualising how you want each room to look and feel is a great motivator when it comes to decluttering. The task may feel big but how each room will look and how you feel when you walk into it is worth it.

 

4. Streamline your finances and stick to a budget

Knowing where you are financially is a great way to start the year intentionally. Going through your finances in detail, making sure you have the best deals for all your bills and making a realistic budget you can stick to allows you to start the year on the front foot rather than on the back foot.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Change your perception of your normal. Thinking about how you used to live and the money you used to spend is not helpful if you’re trying to stick to a budget that may be a little tighter than you’re used to.  By telling yourself this is how much you have, living in the present and looking to the future allows you to create a new normal for yourself instead.

 

5. Create a bedroom sanctuary for sleep

Creating a bedroom for sleeping, a little like number two on the list, means you can start the year giving yourself permission to sleep better. Remove anything from your bedroom that isn’t to do with sleeping. Create a space that is relaxing and away from the rush of everyday life.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Look at the end goal, not the task.  If your bedroom is far from being a sanctuary at the moment taking the time and effort to make it so, can be daunting.  Focusing on the end goal is more motivational than concentrating on the task and before you know it you’ve got the bedroom you set out to create.

 

6. Plan plan plan

Making realistic plans for your days and weeks means you can achieve what you want to accomplish in your business, career or personal life.  It also means you can make sure you can get to bed at a reasonable hour too and start the year as you mean to go on.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Be vague–ish.  Research shows that if we set vague goals then we’re more likely to achieve them as we’re able to pick the part of the goal we’re most likely to achieve and so it keeps us motivated.  The research suggests that setting a goal of ‘getting to bed between 9pm and 10pm for most nights this year’ is better than  setting a more specific goal of ‘getting to bed at 10pm every night.’ Although this may work a dream in some scenarios, others may require a little more detail and so find which works best for you for different goals.

 

7. Keep your general wellbeing in mind

For a lot of us, New Year resolutions tend to be focused on doing more exercise and eating more healthily and while these are great resolutions, they’re the resolutions that tend to fizzle out by February.  Instead, why not think about a resolution that focuses on your general wellbeing and allows plans of more exercise and eating better to happen more easily?  Getting more sleep is one thing that can make everything seem easier all round.  Being more mindful and meditating can also have the same outcome too.

HOW TO STICK WITH IT:

Take it a day at a time.  Looking at every day as a fresh start may be what is needed when it comes to sticking with some plans. How things went the day before can be motivating or demotivating depending on what happened.  By taking it one day at a time you can free yourself from letting the day before influence you.

 

Whatever you want to accomplish this year don’t let the fad of a New Year’s resolution stop you from achieving it. Frame it in the right way and ensure you stick with it well into the year.

 

Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash

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